Morning Musings by Bop

not-much-to-clean


 

This is a variation on the well known story about the person who entertained the Lord.  This person cleaned and vacuumed until the house shone – at least most of it.  While showing the place off, the Lord zeroed in on the one room that defied the homeowner’s best efforts.  It was this room that the Lord was most interested in.

In my version the Lord was allowed, on a temporary basis, to stay in the worst room in the house – not cleaned in years and inhabited by creatures the homeowner did not want to talk about.  This suited the Lord just fine because after cleaning up this room he could move on to the rest.

This revision comes out of 1 John 4.7-21.  We love and know love because we have come into contact with the source of love through Jesus, the embodiment of love.  This love invades lives where there was only a sense of entitlement or (self love) and brings about the expanding ability to love others.  John writes of “perfecting” God’s love, by which he refers to the expanding expression of the love that we came in contact with when we first acknowledged Jesus as Lord.

John’s account ends with “whoever loves God must love his brother (or sister).  The word “must” is a problem to me because love is never commanded or demanded, but is always freely given and received.  If, however, “must” is understood as “the logical extension” it makes more sense.  If we are truly touched by God’s love and if his love has truly invaded the dark corners of our lives, our love for each other will follow as naturally as exhaling follows inhaling.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1John4:12

 

Morning Musings by Bop

First Bucket

First Bucket

Why Recycle?


There is a growing trend to use recycled material.  Re-Stores and Second Hand Stores have made this a significant part of their market strategy.  The motives are simple: save money and save the environment.

I use recycled wood.  Some of it is fit only for burning and some good not even for that, but some is pure treasure.  With a little T.L.C. that ugly duckling of a pallet has outstanding potential.

Economic and environmental considerations are, for me, secondary.  For me, recycled wood represents hope.  It represents the cast-offs, throw-aways and neglected who began with all the potential they need, but who have been banged up by the world.  More or less like all of us at one time or another.

We need a redeemer who will not “break a bruised reed or quench a faint burning wick”.  Who will see the beauty beneath the grime.  That one is Jesus, the master wood worker.

I use reclaimed wood because I have been reclaimed.  In His hands I, and you, can be beautiful and useful once again.

“a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;” Isaiah 42:3

Morning Musings by Bop

Rushing Waters

Rushing Waters


Blossom

We live in a land of fruit trees and forests, rugged hills and plains, deep lakes and high ridges, deer, bear, elk and coyotes – and skunk.  It is this last resident to whom my thoughts turn this morning.

Many nights Blossom sachets past our house leaving her lingering scent.  My wife mutters, shuts the window and stumbles back to bed.

Blossom reminds me of us.  We mean no harm but we leave behind the scent of sin and drives all but other skunks away.  Some would call it personality but in the end it is the smell of something that is slightly “off”.

God has a solution that falls short of poison or extermination.  He came to be a fellow skunk, and to deal with our aroma so we would be be as offensive.  In fact, he gives us a different aroma.  It is the aroma of righteousness which everyone loves.

What an amazing transformation. Psalm 143

Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Psalm 143:7-8

Morning Musings by Bop

Working

Working


Efficiency

Once I worked in a cabinet shop.  There were many things to know, the most important being the purpose of the company – to make money.  Less important but still vital were the safe production of the machinery and the personalities of co-workers.  Together we formed a jigsaw puzzle of skills and personalities that made money for the owners.

The wisdom of the shop reflects the wisdom of creation.  God, the boss, administers the vast domain of time, space, skills and resources.  To be happy, we must administer out small chunks of time and abilities in co-ordination to His plan.  To that end, the psalm writer asks God to “teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom”.

The wise use of today may not extend our days but it will make them worthwhile.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  Psalm 90:12

Morning Musings by Bop

Photo by Lonely Pine

Morning Musings by Bop


Roots

Ours has been a lifetime of change.  We have, for example, moved from town to town more than I care to confess.  I have also had several career.

In all those changes we have become expert movers.  The battalion of  boxes became as much furniture as storage, each one being re-labeled with new names and a new lamination of packing tape.

Then we stopped and the now unpacked boxes were broken down and stacked in the corner in case we needed to use them again.  But we didn’t, and haven’t, and so they were slowly dispatched to recycling or garbage or given away.  It was wrenching but afterwards felt good.

In Matthew 9:14/17 Jesus credits former Jewish traditions as things that were useful, but are no more because He is doing something new.  Mercy and grace replace traditions and legalism.  These last two virtues, while laudable, are to service the first two, which are, in every way preeminent.

So what old baggage do we cling to?  What has served its noble purpose but must be consigned to second place.  These are hard questions because we cling to whatever we must demote or dispose because, well, they are a part of us and without them we become vulnerable.  Sometimes, however, we just have to “do it” for the sake of a future for which we have been waiting for so long.

 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.  Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”  Matthew 9:16&17

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